Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Fashion what is it about?

As the title implies I am asking a question that is often asked and has so many different questions.

Firstly how is it decided?

Is it by magazines like Vogue, by designers or by the past and what makes a trend and what influences it?

Fashion can be so many things from the illustrations to the final product to the images on the glassy page. When I started this blog I wanted it to have more depth to it, then just a standard look book or something similar. This not because I am a snob to these things but because I am interested in more than just how something looks! Having studied art for most of my educational years, I have always been taught to question the process behind the aesthetic and wonder what has influenced it and what process has it gone through before becoming the finished piece?

This is something I have applied to fashion since my last year of my degree when studying the fashion illustrations and recreating them through new processes. I had to start applying the same ideas about art to fashion and this began my thinking. I was working in fashion retail at the time as was beginning to learn the art of building outfits and fitting things to each person I spoke to, so that they could get the most from what they were purchasing.

So what is fashion? Is it how you dress every morning when late for a meeting or going for a run. Do you treat yourself as a brand? Is vogue/Elle your fashion bible?

What inspires you? I have always looked at those around me, I am not afraid to ask someone in the street where they bought something I like that they are wearing. You can tell a lot about a person through what they are wearing. I have a theory that the shoes you wear give away your personality. (For instance I am obsessed with high heels and on many pairs but live my life in quirky converse/ballet pumps and brogues= practical and fun!) I also go for pieces of clothing and accessories that stand out. This is because I enjoy expressing my personality through my clothes. I know I say this a lot but it is something I know a lot of people are afraid to do! Why spend your life in boring drab things when you can wear beautiful and lovely things. I often get complimented on the unusual things I wear. If people don't like it what do I care?

I am not going to stop being myself for the sake of what people think. For instance I wore my new vintage tweed cape out last Friday I had many odd stares but just as many people (including the owner of a vintage shop) express how much they loved the cape! I can laugh at myself but I will not be less of that. Dita von Teese is always beautifully turned out no matter what you would never tell her to tone it down! She has made a career out of being herself!

We often rely on stereotypes so people can be easily grouped and written off rather than treated as individuals like they should be. This creates labels and can upset people. You can be judged for this and why should you be? It restricts people opinions and makes them afraid to step out of the box. It is laziness that makes people act like that. It stops you being seen as you really are and instead you're a socially idea not a person. It can also have a bad effect on a person.

It only takes one negative comment to ruin a good day. So what if you're not built a certain way or of a certain height be the best of who you are!

If you are into trends and you spend all your money and time following what is in you are judged, if you shop in charity shops the same happens. It makes me very angry because people assume you are someone just from how you dress. After years in jeans and t-shirts for uniform and at university when I had the chance to dress as I wanted for my previous job I did. I always enjoyed it.

Fashion is a fantastic thing but it can also be a victim of its own success what happens when the catwalks just become unwearable (I know something's are now they are made just for show). What is fashion to you? Should it be practical and pretty, quiet and ethical or loud and frivolous? Slowly ideas are changing; more green materials are being used. Do you want to make a statement or follow a trend? That is your decision.

I started this blog for fashion advice but I wanted it to be more. I want to explore other ideas and what people think because it is fascinating to discuss such a wide subject that crosses so many sub genres.

I may not devoutly follow fashion I love reading Vogue. When I was younger I sneered that it was nothing more than an overpriced advertising board. However after actually sitting down and reading it a few years later I discovered the depth and interest that Vogue has. The articles and the fact that it went underneath the glossy surface of the pretty clothes, I realised then why it is worth reading.

It was the mixture of contextual insight into trends and where they were from and the creation of pieces that inspired me. I started looking into the design side and history of fashion (I was lucky enough our University had 60's& 70's copies of Vogue!).

That take on culture and fashion and how everything is mixed is kind of what I wanted in this blog. I love how fashion reacts to culture and politics. How there are great fashion icons that are models, designers and pieces of clothing. E.g. Twiggy, Alexander Mc Queen and the stiletto heel, they have defined eras and rewritten rules of what was acceptable for that generation.

That is why I love fashion because it is anything to so many.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Winter woollies

I Love this time of year because it is a new start and it represents a change. It means the start of a new school year, a change in your wardrobe or just happier watching the weather change and the leaves fall. It is a time of cuddling up with a cup of tea and watching a good film. I have always enjoyed this time of year, the colours the feel of the cool morning air and watching as everything changes to winter.

This means bringing out the trusty old favourites that have been hiding at the back of my wardrobe for the summer.

Sneaking my slipper socks on under my boots, and layering up with a scarf.

It is a good time of year for so many things! There is so much to do and enjoy. As the days get shorter but the weather is slowly getting colder the pretty things of summer can still be worn through clever layering of tights and boots and a cardigan. I think it is a good thing to be able to do. I have enjoyed the Indian summer we had and the crisp air in the day, the smell of the rain just after it goes.

Autumn is always big for fashion and sadly the British weather dictates what you can get away with but it's worth it. I remember what autumn used to mean to me, new school uniform, the excitement of starting college or university. When I went to university 5 years ago I wanted to have a signature look. I remember spending £55 on a long hounds-tooth 60's style coat and going to River Island and raiding their sale for mini skirts in tartan and hounds-tooth. I bought roll necks and plenty of jumpers. I spent forever looking for a favourite perfume as well. I wanted to have something quirky but trendy in my clothes. I had spent the previous college year living in tartan converse and jeans. I needed a change.

It helped mould my taste in clothing because for the first time I had some money to spare! It was exciting to meet new people and to be something new in myself. I have always done significant things in my life around later summer/autumn time. I guess that's why it is special to me.

I love the idea of sitting in front of a fire with my favourite book and just forgetting the time. Sometimes comfort is more important than how amazing something looks. I like to factor both in when I chose stuff. I will layer thin things to make myself warmer and to stop from over baulking my silhouette. It keeps the warmth in better as well!

I am not a fan of when it gets really cold. Ice and snow are the worst I am too clumsy to even want to risk going outside and nothing you wear is ever warm enough no matter how many layers.

I would rather stay in bed thank you very much.

I miss spending time wandering through Pittville Park listening to the leaves crunch under foot when going for an evening walk. I am all ready to go for this year I have bought a long vintage tweed cape (even if it does make me look like an extra from Harry Potter) I adore it. It is unique crazy but just the right amount of cool.

When it eventually gets to cold weather I have my 70s coat (or the rug as my boyfriend calls it!) it is so warm and lovely.

I have been good over the last few weeks with my shopping as promised! I have been buying more individual capsule pieces so that I can integrate and change up my wardrobe more. I have recently acquired an orange dress with embroidery, a tasselled pink top, various white tees and orange ballet pumps with pink patent leather decoration. I have also got a new wool beret for the winter as the death hat will most likely get blown away. I have also bought new multi coloured black loafers and studded black brogues and a black boyfriend blazer, I was going to customise but left alone. All will be worn most thoroughly!

I have also made my first clutch bag as a present for a friend's birthday from some material I was going to use for customising and the old hem I cut from a vintage dress I shortened last year. She was most happy I will be blogging about it soon!

I just want to spend all my time outside enjoying the season as it is so brief and passing. The ripe crispness with wither and be left with rain and horrid snow. My pretty summer dresses and ballet pumps will have to go away in the wardrobe. I will miss the crunch of the leaves and the amazing colours and general feeling of anything is possible. So bring on the jumpers and the boots